Live music-loving venue The Up and Under Pub welcomed a new bar to the family but a few short months ago, allowing patrons of the Brady Street locale to have an excuse for a jaunt down to Bay View. Setting up shop in what was formerly the Bay View Brew Haus, The Down and Over Pub (2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) might be easily overlooked, were it not for the large red sign featuring a black guitar head beneath the white type and treble clef.
The giant, light-colored brick building, once a Masonic temple, boasts no exterior adornments. Upon jiggling the front door open, you get the distinct feeling that you’re walking into an old VFW hall, with the high ceilings, open floor plan and sparse décor. On a night with live music, surely the place feels much less empty, but when you’re the first person at happy hour, you are unusually aware of how little space you’re occupying in such a large room.
Large wooden boards on hinges act as shutters to the big windows lining the southern wall of the Down and Over, and if mostly unopened, leave the room dimly lit and feeling a bit ominous. Scanning the perimeter, the only noticeable ornamentation is the large painted portraits of famous musicians: Kurt Cobain, Bob Marley, Mick Jagger and a hybrid of Sid Vicious and Johnny Rocket. (I confess I had to ask the bartender on that last one.)
Following in its sister bar’s footsteps, the Down and Over looks to be well suited for live music. It has more than enough space to house quite a crowd, with the stage centered on the northern wall of the establishment, and there are already set nights for open mic and karaoke performances, with live music shows on the weekends.
With a wide range of beers on tap—from light to dark and mild to hoppy to fruity—beer lovers of all preferences will have no problem finding something that suits them. Personally, I was thrilled to see they had both Magners Original Irish Cider and Abita Purple Haze, a raspberry lager, available. During happy hour, which is from 5-9, all taps are only $3, and you can get tall mixed drinks for the price of a short.
If you’re looking for a quiet place to imbibe in peace, the Down and Over Pub seems ideal for an after-work beer. Were I a betting woman, I’d say the bar is presumably much more lively when music is involved. Whether you’re a musician trying to get stage time, a karaoke aficionado or you’re just in the mood to kick back and watch some live music, the Down and Over may have what you’re looking for.
This post has been updated with additional information.